The electrical currents given off into the surrounding waters by improperly wired or grounded boats, marinas, and docks can cause as much harm to swimmers as a hair dryer dropped into a bathtub affects a bather, according to the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association. Major jolts resulting in electrocution may not be the biggest risk. Even a low-level Alternating Current (AC) in fresh waters is sufficient to cause swimmers, particularly children, to suffer muscular paralysis, and significantly increases the chance of drowning.
To minimize the chances of falling victim to Electric Shock Drowning (ESD), the association recommends several steps:
- Raise awareness of ESD; many boaters and swimmers are unaware of the dangers.
- Boat owners should have their watercraft inspected by electricians who are properly trained and certified for boats and yachts.
- Never swim in the vicinity of boats, marinas, or docks.
- Install equipment leakage current interrupters or ground fault circuit interrupters on your watercraft, and recommend marina operators do the same on all wiring circuits and shore power pedestals.
An improperly wired boat that causes harm to others could expose you to liability lawsuits. Take care to have your boat inspected and to carry adequate boaters’ liability insurance. For more questions about liability insurance, or any insurance needs, contact Hills Insurance Agency and I’d be glad to assist you.